The poem of the poet Rafik Rizk Sallum, which he composed in front of the canals of the May 6 martyrs, is still crying out for living consciences, agitating and urging resistance, as if this poem he wrote more than 100 years ago is suitable for our time and speaks in our tongue.

And to document the biography of this militant and poet, the Damascus History Foundation prepared a study for the Wikipedia website to be published on its pages, based on the agreement signed between the two parties last June, which stipulated that the Foundation provide the site with biographies of 100 documented and verified Syrian personalities.

The poet who addressed his countrymen and his nation prior to his execution, calling them to avenge the Ottoman occupier when he said: “Neither the Arabs are my family nor Syria is my home if they do not come to take the truth and revenge.” He was born in the city of Homs in 1891 and taught in its schools and while his family was hoping to become a man Religion took off the garment of monasticism early and went to Beirut to learn at the Syrian Protestant College, “The American University of Beirut,” and while he was still a student, he wrote his first novel, “Diseases of the Modern Age.”

After he finished his studies in Beirut, he traveled to Istanbul to study law, and there he wrote to major Arab newspapers and magazines such as “Al-Qattat, Al-Muqtabat and Al-Mufid and the San Al-Arab Magazine” that was published by the Literary Club in Istanbul and worked as an editor for Al-Hadara newspaper published by Sheikh Abdul Hamid Al-Zahrawi.

During this period of his life, he wrote a comprehensive book on economics entitled “The Country’s Life in Economics.” When he finished studying law, he had mastered the Russian, Greek and Turkish languages.

Lasloom had a fondness and hobby in music, so he mastered playing the instruments of law, the lute, the violin and the piano. He was also one of the most important contributors to the establishment of the literary club, which aimed at the coalition of Arabs and the preservation of their rights and the independence of their country.

In 1914, the Ottoman occupation authorities brought Sallum to service with their forces participating in the First World War, and there he was able to communicate and coordinate with the factions opposed to this occupation and served as a liaison between them and the aspirations of the peoples under the occupation.

In 1915, Sallum was arrested after he was informed of him and his activities of the Ottoman occupation and was transferred to the Military Court in Aley, where he was sentenced to death by hanging, and at that time he sent an impressive letter to his mother in which he described the torture he had experienced during the period of his arrest and interrogation, and mentioned the names of the persons who accused him and forgave them.

On the morning of May 6, Sallum was executed while he was still a young man at the age of twenty-five, and he had a number of liberals with him, such as Shafiq Muayad al-Azm, Rushdi al-Shamaa, Shukri al-Asali, and his teacher, Abd al-Hamid al-Zahrawi, where the memoirs of an officer in the Ottoman occupation army named Fuad Arden described Sallum’s position in front of Death and how it walked for him with steady and rapid steps. He saluted the body of the martyr Al-Zahrawi, describing it as the Father of Freedom, and improvised his poem in which he calls on Syrians and Arabs to avenge the martyrs of May 6 and to liberate themselves from the yoke of occupation.

In the will that Sallum left, an extreme evidence of his feelings and sense of belonging to the homeland and the nation, where he recommended that verses from the famous Canadian poet masked poem “The One Who Between Me and My Father’s Bani” be written on his grave to express his faith in his Syria, his Arabism and his defense of his fellow countrymen, even those who betrayed him and handed him over to death.

Source: Rasha Mahfoud,

A writing on political economy, which above all aims was written for the economic sovereignty of Syria against Ottoman colonization:

When he was betrayed, tortured atrociously and informed of the death sentence, he said these words:

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